Weekly Photo Challenge: Window or Catching a Glow at The Kings County Distillery

Hi F&F,

I’m back on my feet, but moving at a slower pace. This is my excuse (and I’m sticking to it) for the late response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Window.

My entry for the challenge was a result of a work related field trip to the Kings County Distillery.   The visit was an education on the process of distilling whisky and it was a bit of an American history lesson too. You might say it was a lesson on the American spirit under the influence of spirits.

The Kings County Distillery is located in the former Paymasters Building on the grounds of the Brooklyn Navy Yard.  The adaptively reused building, also known as #121, was constructed in 1899. While the space accommodates its new tenant and new function very well; it still retains many of its original details.

Much of the production process at the distillery takes place on the ground floor. The aging process takes place on the second floor. That second floor space is where the magic happens; elevating hundreds of barrels of whiskey to bourbon. The room where it all happens is equally as magical as what’s taking place inside the barrels. The room glows.  The building’s  large windows let in a light that enlivened the brick walls, rough-hewn floor planks and the wooden barrels.

Take a sip look at these shots.

The Brunished Barrels of The Kings County Distillery

Aviary Photo_130345351314315108

B&W ,but not Blah



P.S. I sampled the moonshine, bourbon and their unique “chocolate flavored” whiskey; for educational enrichment and medicinal purposes only. 🙂

Posted in brooklyn, Photography, weekly photo challenge | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Giving the Old Year the Boot and Entering the New Year in Flats

Happy New Year F & F!

It’s the second week of the New Year and I realize, to some, it may seem a bit late in the game for that greeting, but I feel there should never be a statute of limitations put on wishing friends, neighbors, and strangers good fortune. So again –

 new year banner 2014 image

This is my first blog post in 2014. This blog’s been quiet for the last few weeks because I’ve been quiet for the last few weeks. I had a little accident; that resulted in a little broken bone; the sesamoid bone of my right foot; to be exact. The little bone had a big impact and necessitated wearing a big boot.

Me and my boot waiting for a flight to FL.

Me and my boot waiting for a flight to FL.

I know the first rule of blogging is to have a theme or focus, but this blog is unfocused.  This blog is a lot like a refrigerator door covered with magnets; tacking up all kinds of scarps.  A random collection of words, pictures and shiny objects that have caught my eye while wandering through my day-to-day life. With my wondering greatly curtailed, blog content was cut off. I haven’t been anywhere to pick up any scraps worth sharing.

My toe and I have been itching to get back into action (my toe really has been itching and it is driving me crazy!).

Fate and klutziness forced me onto the sidelines.  I’ve been sitting on the bench and sitting on my ass with my foot elevated, but I’ve not been sitting on my hands and idle.  A few years ago it was klutziness that introduced me to crochet and knitting (a pseudo-Jones fracture of the left foot) and klutziness has brought me back to crafting. While sidelined I’ve picked up my hook and needles and dived into my  yarn stash. Below are a few pictures of the projects that helped me pass the time.


In addition to stitching, I used the time to read some frothy fiction for the pure pleasure of it. I revisited Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey (my least favorite of her works) and Persuasion (her least frothy and my favorite of her works). For a contemporary note, I am currently reading Josh Bozell’s second novel; the sequel to Beat the Reaper; Wild Thing (it is wildly entertaining).

 For more passive and less productive pursuits, thanks to Netflix, I’ve gotten acquainted with the BBC TV series Call the Midwife (15 episodes) and reacquainted with the West Wing (156 episodes) and Life (32 episodes).

I’m happy to say, earlier this week, the Orthopedist, authorized me to give the ugly protective boot the boot. Now I’m taking my first wobbly baby steps in my ugly hard soled flat shoes. It feels good to work the muscles. I’ve been advised to take it  slow. I’ll apply that advice to my walking and blogging.

Happy New Year,


Posted in Daily Living, Life | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Canstruction New York 2013

Hi F&F,

Last week I got off my can and made my way to the Winter Garden Brookfield Place for this year’s Canstruction New YorkCanstruction is a charity focused on hunger relief.  Across the country and around the world design, engineering and construction professionals use their skills to design and   construct large-scale displays made entirely of full cans of food.  The public is invited to view and enjoy the extraordinary exhibit, and in return; donate a can of food and vote for their favorite entry.  Additionally, the unusual building blocks of canned food are donated to local food banks.

Here are a few photos from the New York City event and a few facts about hunger in the United States of America.

Canstruction will be on view through November, 13th.  



Posted in Culture, Events, Photography | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Eerie

Hi F&F,

Here is my entry for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Eerie.  The first photo was taken just days before Halloween. The decoration committee of my apartment building decided to adorn the elegant Japanese maple tree in our front garden with a cheap ornament. It was neither a trick or a treat. I found it was more ghastly than ghostly. It was horrific, but not eerie.


It may be hard to believe, but the photo below was taken on a beautiful and bright summer day. It is a picture of the ruins of the Smallpox Hospital on Roosevelt Island, NY.  The structure appears to be crumbling and in a shambles, but in fact work is being done to stabilize the remaining walls. So, really, on that day it wasn’t so very eerie.

The Smallpox Hospital Ruin on Roosevelt Island

To create a suitable entry, I made the ruins look more ruinous and the kitschy ghost look more ghostlike, with the help of some photo editing.  Without some tweaking these shots would cause nary a fright.



Posted in Photography | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Horizon

Hi F&F,

The Weekly Photo Challenge was horizon.  The post issuing the challenge defined the horizon as “where the sky meets the earth”.  I’m fascinated by all the different places where the sky meets the earth.  I imagine some of the meetings, of earth and sky to be like a rom/com; a classic “meet cute”; and others to be very contentious affairs, like a summit meeting between 2 warring nations.

 I imagine where the sky meets the earth, say, at a wheat field; is a get together that is warm and gently yielding; the sky and the earth complementary and companionable.  On the other hand, city encounters must be like a battle of wills; a kind of real estate and firmament grab. The sky desperately attempting to assert its presence so as not to be blotted out by an ever-changing landscape of massive and inelegant architecture.  Aggressively designed and unbelievably tall towers thrusting upward trying to stake a claim and garner attention from above and below.

Here are a few horizons that I hazarded to capture.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Posted in Photography, weekly photo challenge | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

A Girls’ Got to Eat: I’m Making it Mexican Candy for Halloween

Hi F&F,

Halloween seemed like the perfect time to share my recently developed passion for Mexican candy.  The spooky festival known as Halloween in the United States of America and known as La Noche de las Brujas in Mexico share the custom of kids donning costumes and begging for sweets.

Since Halloween has been taken over by adults (click here to read my rant regarding that fact), I’ve noticed fewer kids taking part in the sanctioned custom of candy begging, known as trick-or-treat.  I live in a large apartment building and in the past, Halloween meant a long evening of doling out candy to demanding little devils, little witches and the occasional little princess.  Now, I rarely get a good rally of tykes taping at my door; the streets of my neighborhood and the hallways of my building eerily empty.

Over the years I’ve abbreviated my stash of candy, yet inevitably, I have a great deal of the super sweet kid friendly; and adult unfriendly candy left over.  This year I made deeper cuts to my candy reserves and added Mexican candies to the mix.  The kids that visit me always get to pick what they want, so there will be enough of a selection of  the, usual suspect, candies like  Reese’s and M & M’s, but  I’ll have some of the vibrant in appearance and  vibrantly  flavored Mexican candies too.  I have candy for the traditionalists and candy for the adventuresome.

Aviary Photo_130276807241374963

The Mexican candies come in flavors of mango, watermelon, corn and cucumber.  They offer a palate pleasing mix of salty, spicy, sweetness. They are real eye candy; coming in bright colors and unusual shapes.  Tarrito is a pineapple flavored lollipop in the shape of a mug of beer; complete with a frothy white beer head. One of my favorites is Lucas Muecas Pepino.  It is a mildly sweet cucumber flavored pop that you dip into sweet and sour powder.  I also like the mango and chili flavored candies. It’s juicy sweetness with a little heat.  It’s sort of a “confectionary” version of the sliced mango in chamoy sauce sold by street vendors.

Aviary Photo_130276808343311152

I’m prepared for the  “trick-or-treaters” whether it be a trickle or a torrent.  If it is a trickle; it is ok.  The surplus won’t go to waste; just my waist; creating an entirely different kind of surplus. That’s a scary thought.



Posted in Culture, Food, Halloween | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Happy Birthday Theodore Roosevelt!

Hi F&F,

This is a 5A_theodore-rooseveltquick post because; I just connected with the fact that today is Theodore Roosevelt’s (TR) birthday.  The 26th President of the United States of America was born on October 27, 1858. You can’t be a New Yorker and not note that the Roosevelt family is embedded into the bedrock of New York City history. They are associated with many important institutions such as Roosevelt Hospital, the Bank of New York (now BNY Mellon) and the United Nations; to name a few.

A family of go-getters and do-gooders; New York, the United States of America and the world has been the beneficiaries of  their almost, genetic, predisposition to public  service.

I bet it’s hard to stand out in a family of overachievers; yet TR managed to stand out. To me TR was a triple strength Roosevelt and a triple threat.  He was strong physically, mentally, and morally.

Several weeks ago while running a few errands in the city; I passed by the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site.  I took time to stop in and was lucky to find that a Park Ranger was about to commence a tour.  The Ranger regaled the small group with facts and fiction about the man and his times. I’m so happy I took the detour, but sorry I didn’t have my camera, but I did have my cellphone in my handbag. In celebration of Theodore Roosevelt’s birthday, here are a few shots of his birthplace.



Posted in History, new york city, photos | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Hue of You

Hi F&F,

If there is truth in the saying “you are what you eat” – I should have eaten the entire platter of veggies; not because of their powerful nutritional value, but because of their  power to attract attention . This abundant  display of vegetables, with its vibrant orange carrots, yellow tomatoes and cauliflower in hues of purple and green, lit up the room as soon as it entered. They were brilliant. Those vegetables immediately  became the center  of attention; in a way that I have never been.  These vegetables were at once familiar yet  exotic. They were magnetic and people were drawn to them.

In contrast, no one looked up when I entered the party. I stood alone on the periphery for several minutes, until I managed to make eye contact with someone I knew. They threw me a lifeline before I drowned completely in the swirl of the social whirlpool.

Someday, one day,  I want to be the purple cauliflower at the party.

I am not a wallflower



Weekly Photo Challenge: The Hue of You

Posted in humor, Photography, weekly photo challenge | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Infinite

Hi F&F,

The frog foot, the fishtail, and the swirl. They  sound like the latest dance moves, but in fact, they are just a few of the, seemingly, infinite patterns one can produce when practicing ebru, the art of water marbling. Water marbling is the technique of creating patterns by floating color on plain water or on a dense viscous solution known as size. The pattern is then transferred onto a smooth surface.

Traditionally, the images are freeform and abstract in appearance, but the art form has evolved; with  contemporary artists creating more stylized patterns and representations of flowers in their work.

Early marbling was executed on paper and the oldest example of ebru is in Istanbul University Library. It is estimated that it was made before 1519. The highly decorative paper was most often reserved for calligraphy and bookbinding for sacred text like the Qur’an. (Click here to see an example)

Today it is still used in fine bookbinding, but you can also see examples of the technique used to lovely effect on fabric and even finger nails; a truly unique spin on the nail art trend. (Click HERE to see the nail marbling videos by Simple Little Pleasures)

For the Weekly Photo Challenge: Infinite, I’m sharing a few shots from a marbling workshop conducted by Eko-Lab and hosted at BLDG 92. With basic instruction and a little practice the workshop participants were able to create their own unique silk kerchiefs. It was a fun afternoon. In the end, all left the workshop with a new fashion accessory, a sense of accomplishment, and some basic skills.  Their own imagination will be the inspiration for an infinite number of designs and patterns.

BLDG 92 Marbling Workshop

Finally,  if you want to see this amazing technique executed, YouTube has many interesting videos. Click HERE to see my search results for ebru art. Click HERE to see my search results for silk marbling.



Posted in Art, arts and crafts, Photography, weekly photo challenge | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

YWCA’s Week Without Violence is October 14-20

Hi F&F,

Last week I shared news on 2 projects associated with the observation of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This week I’m reblogging a post from the World Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) Blog.  The YWCA has always been an advocate for women and a champion of causes that can benefit them. Check out their recent post on 2 of their projects; the Purple Purse Campaign and the annual Week Without Violence initiative.

Click here to read the original YMCA Blog post: It’s Here! Pass the Purse and Join our Week Without Violence 

In partnership with the Allstate Foundation, the Purple Purse Campaign is a 2 pronged approach to addressing the issue of domestic violence. Firstly, the campaign seeks to encourage conversation within communities.  This type of violence is often hidden and the subject is seldom openly discussed. It is the belief that communities that can openly communicate about this issue can become safer communities for women. Secondly, the campaign is seeking to raise money for the YWCA programs providing supportive services that help “women regain safety and strength”.

YWCA’s Week Without Violence is October 14-20, 2013. This week and throughout the month of October, YWCAs across the country will be hosting art exhibits and performances; distributing educational material and facilitating workshops with a focus on ending the violence. In my area, on Tuesday the 22nd the Brooklyn YWCA and Connect NYC will co-host a talk – The Other Half of the Sky: The Role of Men in Ending Violence Against Women. 

Click Here to read It’s Here! Pass the Purse and Join our Week Without Violence

Peace, protection, and healthy relationships,


Posted in Daily Living, Life | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment